In a city of steep hills, tiny backyards, and front steps that start right at the sidewalk, gardening and landscaping tips for San Francisco are helpful in general, but especially for home sellers. Selling a home in San Francisco isn’t just about staging and interior design; to be appealing to buyers, a home needs to be beautiful both outside and in.
Yet gardening and landscaping in San Francisco can be tricky. The following five tips should get you started, and are easy to implement even if you’re looking to sell your home within a short period of time.
Tip #1: Maximize Curb Appeal
Some houses in San Francisco start quite literally at the curb, so be sure to maximize your home’s curb appeal because it might be the first thing people see! Since front yards are a rarity in San Francisco, most homeowners are left with few gardening and landscaping options for the frontside of their homes. However, there are a few handy tips that are simple and affordable that will make the outside entrance quite attractive:
- Display potted plants. Turn your front steps or garden area into a mini oasis of potted plants. Choose large decorative pots, mix and match sizes, and plant both herbs, flowers, and green foliage. Succulents and cacti are good choices, too, since they fair well in the San Francisco weather.
- Plant pleasant smelling flowers and herbs. A pleasant scent can be just as appealing as a pleasant sight. Three flowering herbs that do well in San Francisco are jasmine, rosemary, and lavender.
- Plant a citrus tree. Small, unobtrusive, flowering, and practical, citrus trees thrive in San Francisco and can be planted either in the ground or in large pots.
- Install window boxes. A window box overflowing with flowers or herbs is a simple way to spruce up your home’s exterior.
Tip #2: Create a Backyard Oasis
Even a small backyard in San Francisco can transform into a beautiful oasis with the right gardening and landscaping tips. The goal is to create a space that is not only visually appealing, but a space people will physically enjoy. Therefore, the combination of a garden plus a patio is a great way to maximize backyard space.
If the backyard is too small to have both, consider using the space for a patio and using any walls and fences to vertically hang potted plants, so that you can still achieve the garden plus patio effect. Add a nice outdoor table and some chairs and voilà, you’ve got a backyard oasis that potential home buyers can enjoy.
Tip #3: Go Native
When it comes to planting a quick and easy garden, you’ll have the best luck with plants that are native to San Francisco. Plants that are perfect for San Francisco gardens and yard spaces include the butterfly-loving lupine, the elegant Maidenhair fern, fragrant bay laurel, bee-loving blue eyed grass, and of course, the California state flower, the bright and cheerful golden poppy.
Plants that are native to San Francisco are also quite versatile. Bay laurel, for instance, can be planted in the ground and grown as a large tree, or planted in a pot and grown as a smaller, shrub-like tree. Golden poppies produce seeds and can be regrown year after year, and coast rock cress can be planted into walls and crevices. Most importantly, native plants are beneficial for local pollinators, which means they’re appealing to potential home buyers and the environment, too!
Tip #4: Reinforce Slopes and Hills
Many backyards in San Francisco feature a slope or even a large hill, much to the displeasure of San Francisco home owners. It’s common for backyard hills to become muddy in the rain, become overgrown with weeds, and fall apart during tremors and earthquakes.
One of the most helpful gardening and landscaping tips for San Francisco is to reinforce backyard hills and slopes. The way you should reinforce the slope depends on factors such as drainage, incline, amount of sunlight, and type of soil, but some ideas for reinforcement include:
- Planting a mix of shrubs, groundcover, and perennials.
- Terracing with stone, concrete, or lumber.
- Creating tiers with retainer walls.
When reinforcing hills and slopes, refer back to tip #2 and be sure that any landscaping transforms your backyard into a welcoming oasis.
Tip #5: Plant Grass
Green spaces in San Francisco are parceled out between city blocks and most require walking or driving to reach. A home with a yard plush with green grass will provide an inviting and tranquil space. Grassy areas are particularly appealing to families with small children, since it provides a safe space to play in an urban environment. Just remember to avoid planting grass on hills and slopes, since this could lead to erosion. For an instant green lawn, plant grass sod that thrives well in San Francisco, such as St. Augustine and Manila grass.
Are you selling a home in San Francisco? The Danielle Lazier SFhotlist :: Keller Williams San Francisco team is full of helpful tips and advice. Reach out and let’s create a plan for maximizing the selling appeal of your house.